Version: 3.x

Navigation prop reference

Each screen component in your app is provided with the navigation prop automatically. The prop contains various convenience functions that dispatch navigation actions on the route's router. It looks like this:

  • this.props.navigation
    • navigate - go to another screen, figures out the action it needs to take to do it
    • goBack - close active screen and move back in the stack
    • addListener - subscribe to updates to navigation lifecycle
    • isFocused - function that returns true if the screen is focused and false otherwise.
    • state - current state/routes
    • setParams - make changes to route's params
    • getParam - get a specific param with fallback
    • dispatch - send an action to router
    • dangerouslyGetParent - function that returns the parent navigator, if any

It's important to highlight the navigation prop is not passed in to all components; only screen components receive this prop automatically! React Navigation doesn't do anything magic here. For example, if you were to define a MyBackButton component and render it as a child of a screen component, you would not be able to access the navigation prop on it. If, however, you wish to access the navigation prop in any of your components, you may use the withNavigation HOC.

Navigator-dependent functions

There are several additional functions present on this.props.navigation based on the kind of the current navigator.

If the navigator is a stack navigator, several alternatives to navigate and goBack are provided and you can use whichever you prefer. The functions are:

  • this.props.navigation
    • push - push a new route onto the stack
    • pop - go back in the stack
    • popToTop - go to the top of the stack
    • replace - replace the current route with a new one
    • reset - wipe the navigator state and replace it with the result of several actions
    • dismiss - dismiss the current stack

If the navigator is a drawer navigator, the following are also available:

  • this.props.navigation
    • openDrawer - open the drawer
    • closeDrawer - close the drawer
    • toggleDrawer - toggle the state, ie. switch from closed to open and vice versa

Common API reference

The vast majority of your interactions with the navigation prop will involve navigate, goBack, state, and setParams / getParam.

navigate - Link to other screens

Call this to link to another screen in your app. Takes the following arguments:

navigation.navigate({ routeName, params, action, key })


navigation.navigate(routeName, params, action)

  • routeName - A destination routeName that has been registered somewhere in the app's router
  • params - Params to merge into the destination route
  • action - (advanced) The sub-action to run in the child router, if the screen is a navigator. See Actions Doc for a full list of supported actions.
  • key - Optional identifier of what route to navigate to. Navigate back to this route, if it already exists
class HomeScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
const { navigate } = this.props.navigation;
return (
<Text>This is the home screen of the app</Text>
onPress={() => navigate('Profile', { name: 'Brent' })}
title="Go to Brent's profile"

goBack - Close the active screen and move back

Optionally provide a key, which specifies the route to go back from. By default, goBack will close the route that it is called from. If the goal is to go back anywhere, without specifying what is getting closed, call .goBack(null); Note that the null parameter is useful in the case of nested StackNavigators to go back on a parent navigator when the child navigator already has only one item in the stack. Don't be concerned if this is confusing, this API needs some work.

Note -- a key is not the name of the route but the unique identifier you provided when navigating to the route. See navigation key.

class HomeScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
const { goBack } = this.props.navigation;
return (
<Button onPress={() => goBack()} title="Go back from this HomeScreen" />
<Button onPress={() => goBack(null)} title="Go back anywhere" />
onPress={() => goBack('key-123')}
title="Go back from key-123"

Going back from a specific screen with goBack

Consider the following navigation stack history:

navigation.navigate({routeName: SCREEN, key: SCREEN_KEY_A});
navigation.navigate({routeName: SCREEN, key: SCREEN_KEY_B});
navigation.navigate({routeName: SCREEN, key: SCREEN_KEY_C});
navigation.navigate({routeName: SCREEN, key: SCREEN_KEY_D});

Now you are on screen D and want to go back to screen A (popping D, C, and B). Then you need to supply a key to goBack FROM:

navigation.goBack(SCREEN_KEY_B) // will go to screen A FROM screen B

Alternatively, as screen A is the top of the stack, you can use navigation.popToTop().

addListener - Subscribe to updates to navigation lifecycle

React Navigation emits events to screen components that subscribe to them:

  • willFocus - the screen will focus
  • didFocus - the screen focused (if there was a transition, the transition completed)
  • willBlur - the screen will be unfocused
  • didBlur - the screen unfocused (if there was a transition, the transition completed)


const didBlurSubscription = this.props.navigation.addListener(
payload => {
console.debug('didBlur', payload);
// Remove the listener when you are done

The JSON payload:

action: { type: 'Navigation/COMPLETE_TRANSITION', key: 'StackRouterRoot' },
context: 'id-1518521010538-2:Navigation/COMPLETE_TRANSITION_Root',
lastState: undefined,
state: undefined,
type: 'didBlur',

You can also subscribe to navigation events declaratively with the <NavigationEvents/> component.

isFocused - Query the focused state of the screen

Returns true if the screen is focused and false otherwise.

let isFocused = this.props.navigation.isFocused();

You probably want to use withNavigationFocus instead of using this directly, it will pass in an isFocused boolean a prop to your component.

state - The screen's current state/route

A screen has access to its route via this.props.navigation.state. Each will return an object with the following:

// the name of the route config in the router
routeName: 'profile',
//a unique identifier used to sort routes
key: 'main0',
//an optional object of string options for this screen
params: { hello: 'world' }

This is most commonly used to access the params for the screen, passed in through navigate or setParams.

class ProfileScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
return <Text>Name: {}</Text>;

setParams - Make changes to route params

Firing the setParams action allows a screen to change the params in the route, which is useful for updating the header buttons and title. setParams works like React's setState - it merges the provided params object with the current params.

class ProfileScreen extends React.Component {
render() {
return (
onPress={() => this.props.navigation.setParams({ name: 'Lucy' })}
title="Set title name to 'Lucy'"

getParam - Get a specific param value with a fallback

In the past, you may have encountered the frightful scenario of accessing a param when params is undefined. Instead of accessing the param directly, you can call getParam instead.


const { name } = this.props.navigation.state.params;

if params is undefined, this fails


const name = this.props.navigation.getParam('name', 'Peter');

if name or param are undefined, set the fallback to Peter.

Stack Actions

The following actions will work within any stack navigator:


Similar to navigate, push will move you forward to a new route in the stack. This differs from navigate in that navigate will pop back to earlier in the stack if a route of the given name is already present there. push will always add on top, so a route can be present multiple times.

navigation.push(routeName, params, action)
  • routeName - A destination routeName that has been registered somewhere in the app's router.
  • params - Params to merge into the destination route.
  • action - (advanced) The sub-action to run in the child router, if the screen is a navigator. See Actions Doc for a full list of supported actions.


Take you to the previous screen in the stack. If you provide a number, n, it will specify how many screens to take you back within the stack.



Call this to jump back to the top route in the stack, dismissing all other screens.



Call this to replace the current screen with the given route, with params and sub-action.

navigation.replace(routeName, params, action)


Wipe the navigator state and replace it with the result of several actions.

navigation.reset([NavigationActions.navigate({ routeName: 'Profile' })], 0)


Call this if you're in a nested (child) stack and want to dismiss the entire stack, returning to the parent stack.


Advanced API Reference

The dispatch function is much less commonly used, but a good escape hatch if you can't do what you need with navigate and goBack.

dispatch - Send an action to the router

Use dispatch to send any navigation action to the router. The other navigation functions use dispatch behind the scenes.

Note that if you want to dispatch react-navigation actions you should use the action creators provided in this library.

See Navigation Actions Docs for a full list of available actions.

import { NavigationActions } from 'react-navigation';
const navigateAction = NavigationActions.navigate({
routeName: 'Profile',
params: {},
// navigate can have a nested navigate action that will be run inside the child router
action: NavigationActions.navigate({ routeName: 'SubProfileRoute' }),

dangerouslyGetParent - get parent navigator

If, for example, you have a screen component that can be presented within multiple navigators, you may use this to influence its behavior based on what navigator it is in.

Another good use case for this is to find the index of the active route in the parent's route list. So in the case of a stack if you are at index 0 then you may not want to render a back button, but if you're somewhere else in the list then you would render a back button.

Be sure to always check that the call returns a valid value.

class UserCreateScreen extends Component {
static navigationOptions = ({ navigation }) => {
const parent = navigation.dangerouslyGetParent();
const gesturesEnabled =
parent &&
parent.state &&
parent.state.routeName === 'StackWithEnabledGestures';
return {
title: 'New User',